I have a very extensive extended family. My mom is the eighth of nine children. All but one have had their own children. Some of those children have also had children (in case you aren’t keeping up, they would be my first cousins once removed). My grandma had two sisters who each have children (my mom’s cousins) who have also had children (someone help me — are they second cousins?).
When we all get together, say for a milestone birthday or a funeral, we walk around with very little idea whether the people we’re rubbing shoulders with are or are not related to us. It probably doesn’t help that our family has a propensity for adopting non-family members as “aunties” and “uncles.”
I know a lot of Chinese families are like this, but sometimes, I think our family takes this to an extreme. Until someone marries someone else we thought was their cousin, but actually, they aren’t related by blood, so it’s still kosher. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit. Continue reading